WSSC Water announces investigation into May ransomware attack

WSSC Water says they are investigating a May ransomware attack that impacted a portion of their systems. Officials say some internal files were accessed in the incident. 

The company says the ransomware virus was successfully removed within hours and they are fully operational. They say drinking water and wastewater systems were not impacted by the attack and that those systems were never at risk. 

WSSC says they did not and will not pay or support the criminals behind this cyberattack.  

"WSSC Water continues to produce and deliver safe, clean water to 1.8 million customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and at no time was the quality or reliability of our drinking water in jeopardy," said WSSC Water Police and Homeland Security Director David McDonough. 

The company says they were able to recover and restore files, but it appears the criminals did gain access to internal files. 

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"These attacks have become more common, especially in recent weeks, and WSSC Water has prepared for this type of event," added McDonough.

The FBI, Maryland Attorney General and state and local homeland security officials were notified of the cyberattack and will be cooperating with the investigation. WSSC says it's expected to take several weeks before all the facts are known through their own investigation. 

WSSC says they will notify in writing any individuals whose personal identifying information was exposed. Those individuals will be offered five years of credit monitoring with $1 million in identity theft insurance at no cost to them. 

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All individuals are encouraged to remain vigilant and closely examine their financial statements and report anything suspicious to their bank or card issuer.

Although the attack happened a month ago, WSSC Water says June 25 was the soonest they were able to provide our community with information and outline the steps they plan to implement going forward. 

"We hope you appreciate we are being transparent about what we do not know. We continue to investigate this matter to learn the facts," a statement read. 

The investigation is ongoing and WSSC Water says they are regularly testing security protocols.